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South Jersey avoids worst of winter storm

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Despite record rainfall and flurries that began Friday and continued into Saturday morning, South Jersey avoided the worst weather from the winter storm.

The storm dumped more than 3 feet of snow in some parts of New England; left more than 650,000 without power and has been blamed for at least six deaths. Winds reaching 82 mph were recorded in Connecticut.

Locally, the storm brought between 1 and 4 inches of snow and caused minor coastal flooding. The flooding was exacerbated by record rainfall; the Atlantic City International Airport saw 1.72 inches on Friday.

For several hours on Saturday, the Black Horse Pike in the West Atlantic City section of Egg Harbor Township was closed due to flooding at high tide. Meanwhile, power outages in Absecon and Somers Point left as many as 3,000 Atlantic City Electric customers without power. Those outages were resolved by 11:30 a.m.

The general consensus, however, was that the storm was a minor inconvenience compared with the paralyzing blizzard experienced across a large swath of New England.

In Brigantine, which is still recovering from major beach erosion and damaged bulkheads from Hurricane Sandy, authorities reported that all roads were clear on Saturday.

“It’s just a dusting of some winter weather and some ice and snow,” said Police Dispatcher Stanley Gebeline.

Ventnor police said all roads were passable, but water was up to the edge of Wellington Avenue along the bayfront in Ventnor Heights.

Two other municipalities hit hard by Sandy, Little Egg Harbor Township and Tuckerton, reported about 4 inches of snow, but not flooding. Long Beach Township police, meanwhile, reported 2 to 3 inches of snow and no serious flooding.

Much of coastal Cape May County south of Avalon avoided the snow altogether. Wildwood police said there were no reports of flooding, even in low-lying areas.

Hammonton police said all the main roads were clear, but a few side streets are treacherous due to ice and snow. The area saw about an inch of snow from the storm.

State Police at the Woodbine barracks said roads were clear with no reports of major accidents. Municipal police departments did respond to several falls throughout the day due to slick sidewalks.

By mid-morning Saturday, the sun had returned and was expected to stay through the rest of the weekend. The National Weather Service forecast a chance of freezing rain Sunday night, which could persist through the day on Monday.

New Englanders will likely still be digging out by then.

Many cities, including Boston, were deserted save for snowplow crews and a few hardy souls walking dogs or venturing out to take pictures. Airlines scratched more 5,300 flights through the day as airports dug out of the snow. By late morning, however, New York City’s three major airports were able to reopen.

Spirit Airlines, meanwhile, reported no major delays at Atlantic City International Airport.

The U.S. Postal Service closed post offices and suspended mail delivery on Saturday in all of New England.

In Maine, officials said numerous vehicles, including several State Police cars, were stuck in deep snow and warned stranded drivers to expect long waits for tow trucks or other assistance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Richard Degener:

609-463-6711

Contact Wallace McKelvey:

609-272-7256

Follow Wallace McKelvey on Twitter @wjmckelvey

Here is Your South Jersey Forecast

THURSDAY► The sunniest day of a not-so-sunny-forecast, with partly to mostly sunny skies and mild highs in the low 50s. A light northwest wind around 10mph, so overall a very nice mid-winter day.

THURSDAY NIGHT► Mostly clear overnight with some patchy fog or low clouds developing towards morning. Our coldest night of a not-so-cold-forecast with lows in the low to mid 30s. Light and variable winds.

FRIDAY► Thickening clouds with a round of light rain developing by afternoon.  Highs in the upper 40s with a light southeast breeze around 5-10mph.

SATURDAY► The better weekend day with a mix of clouds and some sunshine. Quite mild with highs in the mid 50s, and a light southwest wind less than 10mph.

SUNDAY► Cloudy and increasingly windy with periods of rain developing. Highs in the low 50s with an increasingly brisk easterly breeze around 15-25mph and gusty.

MONDAY► Periods of rain, some could be heavy at times.  Windy with some minor tidal flooding possible along the shore.  Strong easterly winds around 20-30mph with gusts to 40mph possible.  At least 1-2" of rain is expected for most of South Jersey, with precise amounts dependent on the track and strength of the storm.

TUESDAY► A drier day, but probably a mostly cloudy one as clouds linger behind our departing storm. Highs around 50 and still breezy, but this time a brisk offshore wind from the northwest around 15-25mph and gusty.

WEDNESDAY► A mix of clouds and some sunshine. Mild, but not for much longer as colder air returns later in the week.  Highs in the mid 50s with a southwest breeze around 10-15mph.